The proof is in what we do...
It was now winter, and Jesus was in Jerusalem at the time of Hanukkah. He was at the Temple, walking through the section known as Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jewish leaders surrounded him and asked, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is what I do in the name of my Father…”
John 10.22–25 NLT
In our western culture we’re often told practice what you preach. This is a matter of integrity. The principle is that our words and actions should align. When they don’t align it’s called hypocrisy. And no one likes a hypocrite.
Being visual, human beings watch, observe and otherwise see the actions taken as proof of what someone believes. We rely on actions — on what we see — and we take what we see as truth. We can’t know what someone’s thinking until we see what they do. Actions speak.
The works we do prove who we are. They prove our faith in Jesus Christ, or not.
It’s easy to say one thing and do the opposite. That’s our fallen human nature, and it makes us untrustworthy and unfaithful.
In John 10.22–24 Jesus basically says to the religious leaders who were challenging him, “Don’t you get it? Look at what I’m doing. My works testify to who I am. If you don’t believe my words at least believe on the basis of what I do.”
Jesus also uses reason to argue… If scripture says this, and you see it in me, then why don’t you believe?
Actions are the evidence of one’s faith. Faith is demonstrated in what we do.
Actions don’t save. Actions demonstrate that we are saved.
James (brother of Jesus and apostle) discusses this in some detail in his letter. He wrote, “Show me your faith without work and I’ll show you my faith through my works.” James was keen on actions aligning with faith.
In James 1.1–27 he reasoned that obedience — taking action — is how non-believers are influenced by the gospel. If people don’t see what you believe how will they know? If you don’t live differently, what’s the point? How will people see there’s a better way?
Someone once told me that faith is a private thing. He was reticent to open up about the gospel with people outside his immediate circle of acquaintances. But that’s not scriptural. That’s fear. We have to bother others with our faith or how will they know? How will they come around?
It’s not our belief that persuades others to believe. It’s our actions stemming from our belief. What we do makes our faith visible.
As entrepreneurs we have unique opportunity to share our faith with our target audiences. By conducting business with integrity and compassion, we open doors to be able to talk and demonstrate our faith. We have to be intentional in how we present our brands and how we serve customers, being sure our message and follow-through align.
Actions don’t save us. We can’t earn our way into God’s kingdom by following rules. We know from Paul’s letter to the Romans, and from Hebrews, that rules and laws have no ability to save us. Attending church services and Bible studies, giving tithes and offerings, avoiding caffeine, abstaining from gambling and dancing, wearing certain clothes, lighting a candle, memorizing scripture… none of these have power to save us from the penalty of sin. Believing God is what saves us.
But in believing, our actions matter in that they show the world who God is, that He exists, and wants us with Him. Even in our business activities, our actions speak.